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Am Heart J. 2000 Jun;139(6):1039-45.

Adjunctive intracoronary dipyridamole in the interventional treatment of small coronary arteries: a prospectively randomized trial.

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  • 1Department of Cardiology, Pneumology and Angiology, Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf, Germany.



Patients undergoing intracoronary stent placement or balloon angioplasty for the treatment of small coronary arteries are at an increased risk of an adverse outcome from a higher incidence of abrupt closure and restenosis. Intracoronary thrombus formation plays a key role in the pathogenesis of abrupt vessel closure and of restenosis. Dipyridamole prevents platelet aggregation by a mechanism that differs from aspirin. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of intracoronary dipyridamole on acute complications and restenosis after percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty.


In a prospectively randomized study including 491 dilatations of coronary arteries with a diameter <2.75 mm, additional intracoronary application of dipyridamole was compared with conventional pretreatment consisting of heparin and aspirin. Study end points were defined as incidence of abrupt vessel closure, myocardial infarction, angiographic restenosis, and target vessel revascularization rate.


Intracoronary dipyridamole was associated with a significant reduction of abrupt vessel closure (2.8% vs 8.6%; P =.005) and a nonsignificant reduction of myocardial infarction (1.6% vs 4.5%; P =.07) after percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty. Net gain 6 months after angioplasty was significantly higher in the dipyridamole group (0.60 +/- 0.35 mm vs 0.42 +/- 0.34 mm; P <.001). However, dipyridamole failed to reduce the incidence of angiographic restenosis (41.6% vs 49.1%; P =.11) and target vessel revascularization rate (20.6% vs 269%; P =.12).


Intracoronary dipyridamole reduces the incidence of adverse cardiovascular events in the first 48 hours after balloon angioplasty of small coronary arteries. Reduction of restenosis rates failed to reach statistical significance. However, a significant increase in net gain was observed. Thus intracoronary application of dipyridamole should be considered in the treatment of small coronary arteries when intracoronary stenting is not appropriate.

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